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Boost collaboration with better questions 🐈🐈‍⬛

Published about 1 year ago • 1 min read

Dear Reader,

Let's talk about something that's deceptively hard: facilitating productive conversations is like herding cats with words.

How do you get everyone to express their ideas, especially if they differ from the group?

And getting to a consensus at the end feels impossible.

One powerful tool you can lean on is good questions.

As a designer, asking good questions is an essential skill that helps to drive productive discussions and ensure that all team members are engaged and involved in the conversation.

4 Principles for better discussions

Here are some tips to help you ask good questions during a session:

  1. Prepare: have some questions in your back pocket in advance
  2. Listen actively: ask follow-up questions that clarify and expand on participants' points
  3. Encourage participation: Ask open-ended questions that encourage participants to share their thoughts and opinions, avoiding leading questions
  4. Be curious: ask probing questions that challenge assumptions or explore new ideas

To help you get started, here are some questions you can have in your back pocket.

Good questions for facilitating collaboration

  • What did you notice that made you say that [insert their big idea]?
  • Can you say more about that?
  • Are you saying [insert possible interpretation]?
  • Do I understand you correctly, [paraphrase participant's point]?
  • Are there other ways of looking at this?
  • Does anyone have a different point of view?
  • Has anyone else experienced something similar?
  • Who else has felt this before?
  • Does anyone have questions for the people who just spoke?

As experts in UX, you're looking for ways to improve your craft and grow your expertise. These questions help create productive conversations that help you and your team gain new insights & perspectives.

Whether you're working in research, innovation, strategy, or facilitation, asking good questions is essential to driving productive discussions.

I hope these tips make you feel more confident driving those critical conversations.

We just announced the latest Book Club book! 🎉📚🎉

Ruined by Design by Mike Monteiro challenges us to consider design's ethical and political impact, leaving the reader with a rallying cry to use design skills for the greater good.

Want to join the event? Grab the book and join the #book-club channel in the Guild of Working Designers Slack!


Designing Joyful Brainstorming Experiences
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Learn techniques to generate new ideas purposefully.
Reserve a seat


Facilitating Workshops
May 15-Jun. 5, 2023
Learn to design creative working sessions and lead collaborative work.
Reserve a seat


shared by Filipe Monteiro in the Guild

Until next week!

Hannah Baker
Educator & Co-Founder
The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute is an independent online school that teaches advanced UX & product skills.

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